Klein Curacao, a Caribbean pearl
Looking for a place where you don’t have to share the beach with countless tourists and where your view isn’t obstructed by hotels or beach chairs? Klein Curacao is an uninhabited paradise where you can experience the ultimate Robinson feeling! Except for a few beach huts and a lighthouse, the island is completely unspoilt. Exactly what you imagine on a tropical Caribbean island. The place was named the most beautiful beach in Curacao by Lonely Planet. A day trip to this wonderful island is therefore a fantastic idea during your stay on Curacao. Enjoy the tranquility, the snow-white beach and the immense, turquoise sea that surrounds this beautiful island. The magnificent views seem straight out of a travel magazine.
Klein Curacao is located about 13 kilometers from Curacao and is even more beautiful than its big brother. Crystal clear waters, magnificent reefs and corals, endless beaches and priceless views. If you have had enough of the hustle and bustle in and around Willemstad, Punda, Otrobanda, Sharloo and Pietermaai, you can book a trip to this little paradise. The mystical beauty and rich history of Klein Curacao has been renowned among the locals for centuries. The Caribbean pearl is a real dream destination for those who love nature, tranquility and adventure. Snorkelers, divers and sunbathers will find what they are looking for here. If you look closely at the flag of Curacao, you will see a large and small star. The latter stands for Klein Curacao. The total area of the island is a mere two square kilometers. Klein Curacao is therefore literally very small, but very nice. You can walk around the entire island in about two hours. You can of course also laze on the beach, enjoy a delicious barbecue, spot crabs and other animals and swim in the azure blue sea. But there is much more to do.
Spot turtles while snorkeling
Klein Curacao is the ideal place for snorkeling. The water is wonderfully comfortably warm and clear. If you plunge into the water with a snorkel, you are guaranteed to encounter countless colorful fish and turtles while swimming. A magical experience! Some turtles can live up to 60 years old. So keep your eyes open while snorkeling. Important advice: do not chase or touch the animals. Human bacteria can make the animals very sick. So treat nature and animals with respect. Klein Curacao is a popular nesting place for these turtles. Every year, hundreds of sea turtles, born on the island, return to their roots to lay eggs to reproduce. The island also serves as a breeding ground for the American little tern (bird species), the hawksbill turtle and the green turtle. While on the island, be sure to spot the striped anole, an introduced tree lizard. By the way, the water around Klein Curacao is so pure and pure that you can admire the corals and other marine life crystal clear. Underwater you have a view of up to 30 meters. Also keep an eye out for the many pelicans that live on and around Klein Curacao. You often find them bobbing comfortably on pieces of wood lying in the sea. Occasionally they dive into the water to catch a fish. So keep a close eye on them, because seeing a pelican diving into the water after prey is a wonderful sight.
Visit the iconic lighthouse
The eye-catcher on Klein Curacao is undoubtedly the 22 meter high lighthouse that is located right in the middle of the island. The lighthouse and the two accompanying pink mansions are now dilapidated, but they do give a nice picture of how it used to look. The Prins Hendriktoren, as the lighthouse is officially called, has been here since 1849. The monumental building was painted bright red at the time to contrast well with the blue sky. This way ships could clearly see that there was an island here and they were not shipwrecked. Meanwhile, the red color has clearly faded. If you decide to walk towards the lighthouse, do it as early in the day as possible, when it is still relatively cool. Also make sure you have closed shoes with you. Various spiky plants grow around the tower. You can enter the lighthouse, but caution is advised. The government has been working on the renovation of the building. The staircase, the roof and the first floor have already been partially restored. But the building is still very dilapidated for the time being, which of course also contributes to its charm in some way. It is and remains an absolute must-see on Klein Curacao.
Take a photo at the impressive shipwreck of an oil tanker
To top off that ‘desert island’ feeling, take a nice photo with a gigantic, rusted shipwreck, which is located on the northern side of Klein Curacao. You can see it from afar, a fabulous and remarkable sight. As you will notice, Klein Curacao is a relatively ‘flat’ island, which makes it difficult to see from a ship’s bridge. There is also often a strong northeasterly wind, which sometimes makes it difficult to sail along the island as a skipper. That’s why things occasionally went wrong in the past. The wreck of the oil tanker Maria Bianca Guidesman has been here since the 1980s. You can clearly see what damage the sea caused, as large parts of the ship have already completely sunk. Several pieces have been swept away by fierce storms and the remains of the boat have rusted a reddish-brown color. You can easily walk here from all over the island. Along the way you will also come across the old lighthouse. Along the shipwreck you will see coral and washed up shells. A little further on, there is a smaller wreck of a French sailing yacht that was shipwrecked in 2007.
A piece of history
Klein Curacao was used by the West India Company in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It served as a quarantine place for sick slaves. Those who did not survive their seclusion were buried on the island. A sad and turbulent history. Klein Curacao only grew to its current grandeur from 1871, when mining engineer Joh Godden started extracting phosphate there. Those phosphate minerals were left behind by birds that used the island for breeding. At the time, phosphate was very popular as a component of, among other things, animal feed and fertilizer. Only around 1970 the first boats with tourists went to this wonderful bounty island and a visit to Klein Curacao has become the most popular activity during a vacation on Curacao.
By boat to Klein Curacao
In principle, you can only take the boat to Klein Curacao. You can choose between different options. You can go to the island with a luxury yacht or a catamaran. You depart from Jan Thiel, Santa Barbara or Caracasbaai, depending on which trip you choose. The crossing to Klein Curacao takes about an hour with the luxury yacht. If you travel to Klein Curacao by catamaran, it will take a little longer. Count on an hour and a half. Keep in mind that the boats often sail against the waves on the way there. On some days, especially on the catamarans, this can cause you to get seasick. On the hunt you will have little to no problems with this. On the way back you always sail with the current, which ensures a wonderfully quiet ride.
When the boat for Klein Curacao has been moored, you transfer to a small motor boat that takes you to the island. If you want, you can also just swim to the island. Then the crew will take your stuff to the beach. The trips usually leave early in the morning. This way you have a full day to fully experience Klein Curacao. Each trip includes an extensive BBQ lunch, an open bar and the use of goggles with snorkel.
A full day of carefree enjoyment guaranteed!!